A DRINK driver who was involved in a car accident which killed his best friend has admitted causing death by careless driving.
Robert Clark, 26, of Stanhill Lane, Oswaldtwistle, was behind the wheel of a Subaru Imprezza when it crashed into a wall on Rising Bridge Road on April 26 2005.
His best friend, and the brother of his girlfriend, Matthew Saporita, 23, was killed in the crash and it was later discovered that the driver was twice the drink drive limit at the time.
A breath test revealed that Clark had 145 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.
After initially pleading not guilty to the charge, he changed his plea to guilty the day he was due to stand trial.
The defendant was told that he would be spared an immediate jail term and Judge Beverley Lunt described the case as highly unusual and exceptional. She told Clark that she would suspend the jail sentence and probably sentence him to community punishment.
She said she had read a "wealth of material" on the case and added: "No court is bound or necessarily swayed by the views of either family concerned, but they don't ignore them either."
Former Mount Carmel pupil Matthew was a high-flying businessman who had moved to Leeds to set up three successful construction businesses.
He was back in Accrington for a week to visit friends when he was killed in the accident.
At the time of the incident, Matthew's mum Wendy Moss, of Whalley Road, Accrington, paid tribute to her "brilliant son".
She told the Observer: "He was bubbly, so full of life and chasing dreams.
"He lived life to the full and was a fantastic character. He was a gentle giant with everything to live for."
He was an award-winning swimmer and Burnley FC season ticket holder.
Clark was released on unconditional bail until July 13 when he will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court. He has been banned from driving.